Best AMD Gaming GPU
- AMD Radeon 6900 XT
Best Gaming GPU
- Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti
Best Price-To-Performance GPU
- Nvidia RTX 3080
The last few generations of graphics cards have seen some outstanding performance increases. There have also been plenty of innovations. Such as hardware-accelerated ray-tracing, further pushing the envelope beyond what was considered possible just a few years back. The latest generation of graphics cards offers vast performance, assuming you can get one.
The cryptocurrency mining boom created a market that couldn’t get enough GPUs. As such, any that were available were instantly bought up by scalper bots and marked up two or three times, placing them out of the reach of most gamers. This boom in demand was also combined with a parts shortage, making the issue worse. As the shortage works its way through and yields improve, the supply has slowly increased, bringing prices back down, at least a little.
Instability and crashes in the crypto markets and the impending switch of Ethereum, one of the biggest cryptocurrencies, away from a mining scheme that rewards fast GPUs have helped bring prices down further as miners look to sell off hardware before the price drops too low. Finally, as the next generation of GPUs is rumored to be launching in Q3 of 2022, demand for new cards has dropped too as people hold on to their wallets to get the next-gen cards.
While the next-gen Nvidia 4000 series and AMD RDNA3 GPUs aren’t available yet, they’re worth talking about. While there are only rumors at this stage, there are some huge rumors. AMD is switching to a chiplet architecture, like with its CPUs. This is allegedly resulting in excellent power-to-performance ratios. Nvidia is sticking with a monolithic chip design for at least one more generation. Combating AMD’s performance boosts is allegedly planning some monstrously power-hungry cards.
Both are close to doubling the core counts flagship to flagship from the current generation and potentially at a 2x rasterization performance gain. However, that won’t necessarily translate directly to twice the frame rate. With these huge numbers being thrown around, it’s easy to see why someone looking for the best performance might be hesitant to buy now.
Nevertheless, if you’re looking to build a gaming computer now and can’t or don’t want to wait for the next generation of GPUs. You’ve got to look at what’s currently available. Of course, this could be an excellent move if the next-gen GPUs are only available at scalper prices. To help you find the best GPU on the market, we’ve drawn up our list of the best GPUs for gaming in 2022.
- The full, untrimmed Amper GPU die
- 5 slot cooler
- 1008GBs memory bandwidth
- 10752 CUDA cores
- 1920MHz Boost Clock
- 24GB VRAM
The Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti is the ultimate of the current generation of graphics cards. Nvidia’s GPUs were generally slightly better than AMDs. They came with a better selection of extra features such as DLSS and better ray-tracing performance and quality. The 3090 Ti, however, is the fully-loaded version. Even though the monstrous 3090 was a cut-down version of the full chip, the 3090 Ti is the full thing. No shred of performance is left on the table, though this comes at the cost of a lot of heat and a high price tag.
Currently on sale for around $2000, these are the most expensive graphics cards on the market, outside of specialist workstation GPUs not designed for gaming. It has 10752 cores at 1920MHz and 24GB of VRAM at 21GBs over a 384bit bus for a bandwidth of 1008GBs. It also utilizes a new board design and power connector, which will likely be seen on the next generation of GPUs. Realistically, the performance is so high that, even with the best gaming CPU, you can run into bottlenecks that mean diminishing performance returns. Especially if you consider performance per dollar rather than simple raw performance.
- 1900MHz memory
- Only marginally slower than a 3090
- A lot cheaper than a 3090
- 10240 CUDA cores
- 1800MHz Boost Clock
- 12GB VRAM
The Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti is basically the second-fastest GPU around. In some cases, it even manages to beat the marginally higher spec’d 3090. The big win here, though, is the price of performance. While the 3090 Ti offers around 10% extra performance, it costs $800 more, a more than 60% increase. While it may not be the absolute king of performance, it still screams along and offers all of the same cutting-edge features as the 3090 Ti.
With 10240 cores running at 1800MHz and 12GB of 1900MHz VRAM, not only is the 3080 TI fast, but it’s also very hot. The heat output is large enough to require a 3.5 slot cooler to run at reasonable temperatures. Of course, when running hot, the fans have to spin fast to manage the temperature, generating a lot of noise.
- 1900MHz memory
- Faster than a 3080
- Only slightly more expensive than a 3080
- 5120 cores
- 2365MHz Boost Clock
- 16GB VRAM
The AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT is the second tier in AMD’s GPU lineup. However, the 6950 XT is in extremely short supply and offers only a little extra performance for a fair amount of additional cost. The 6900 XT fits between the 3080 and the 3080 Ti in terms of performance and sits relatively close to the 3080 in terms of pricing.
AMD went in the direction of fewer but faster cores and managed to generally match Nvidia’s performance. The main advantage of Nvidia is its software ecosystem’s maturity. AMD doesn’t have an equivalent feature to DLSS and produces lower-quality ray tracing.
Suppose you’re only interested in traditional rasterization performance, though. In that case, that isn’t an issue for you, and AMD’s aggressive pricing can benefit you. If you’re building an open case computer, you may want to be aware of the coil whine issue that some users have reported. This shouldn’t be an issue if you have a closed case.
- 1188MHz memory
- Only a little slower than a 3080 Ti
- A fair bit cheaper than a 3080 Ti
- 8704 CUDA cores
- 1740MHz Boost Clock
- 10GB VRAM
The Nvidia RTX 3080 is an excellent choice if you want an Nvidia GPU under $1000. It sells for around $800, making it $400 cheaper than the 3080 Ti. Given the performance, the difference isn’t too significant between them. If you’re not looking for the absolute ultimate in performance and would instead save some of your hard-earned cash. Then the 3080 is a solid choice.
Being an Nvidia GPU, it offers ray tracing and DLSS. While one does reduce the framerate in games, the other helps to increase it. The triple slot cooler is large, which is excellent for heat dissipation. While long gaming sessions will produce a lot of heat and speed the fans up to somewhat noisy levels, it’s not as bad as the higher-end models.
That was our roundup of the best GPUs for gaming in 2022. Have you recently bought a GPU for gaming? What sold you on it, and what has your experience been with it so far? Let us know down below.